Foodbank launches 757 Mobile Markets
The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore unveiled June 30 the 757 Mobile Markets during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Lynnhaven Landing Apartments in Virginia Beach.
A Foodbank press release stated the 757 Mobile Markets are a fleet of trucks that will deliver healthy, nutritious food to the neighborhoods with the greatest need with a “farmers’ market” style shopping experience. They are funded in part by the City of Virginia Pandemic Relief Partnership, Obici Healthcare Foundation and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
The four 757 Mobile Markets, which bring a new concept to the region, help to eliminate transportation barriers for those experiencing hunger or food insecurity by bringing fresh food directly into neighborhoods identified as food deserts.
Two mobile market vehicles will be managed and operated by Foodbank partner agencies — The Mount in Virginia Beach will serve residents in Bayside and Lake Edward, and the Basilica of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Norfolk will serve residents in the St. Paul’s community.
The remaining vehicles will be managed by the Foodbank, with one dedicated to the City of Virginia Beach and the other serving the additional localities in the Foodbank’s service area, including on the Eastern Shore and Western Tidewater. The exact locations are to be determined.
“In recent years, the Foodbank has reimagined food banking, uncovering the root causes of hunger and implementing solutions that more holistically meet the needs of our neighbors experiencing food insecurity,” said Dr. Ruth Jones Nichols, president and CEO of the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore. “The 757 Mobile Markets offer a unique and innovative approach to serving our community and enable us to continue expanding our footprint throughout the region.”
The 757 Mobile Markets, which can hold up to 20,000 pounds of food and serve up to 350 households per day, will be routed through areas of greatest need following a predetermined schedule five days per week. Residents in these communities will be able to select from a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, lean protein, low-fat dairy and pantry staples at no cost.
To adhere to public health mandates in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing and mask-wearing will be observed on the 757 Mobile Markets at all times.
The Foodbank continues to respond to the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic through new initiatives like the 757 Mobile Markets, which aim to fill these gaps for the most vulnerable communities, including seniors and children.
In 2021, the Foodbank anticipates a 17% increase in food insecurity for individuals and an 18% increase in food insecurity for children in Southeastern Virginia and on the Eastern Shore, compared to 2019.
More information about 757 Mobile Markets and other Foodbank programs is available at www.FoodbankOnline.org.